Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary Is Pure In Heart

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary is the purest-in-heart of all of our pure-in-heart favorites. The Tennessee sanctuary provides a safe, happy, playful home for a delightful group of dogs who, due to their age, would not otherwise be adoptable. Are you smiling through tears yet? Just wait til we take a look at their Facebook page.

Here’s the thing about having a dog: even if you have a puppy today, you’re going to have an old dog sooner than you’re ready. My dog’s aging, like my own, sneaked up on me. One day I was a 23-year-old law student bounding home from the shelter with a 5-year-old English Setter, and for the next 5 years she had all the energy of a puppy. My old girl turns 12 next month – me? raising a 12-year-old?   – and in the past few years she has retained her zest for life and youthful good looks, but gained a slate of costly and worrisome medical problems. Despite my pup’s certified status as a Very Good Girl (look it up, I’m sure it’s filed somewhere), if something happened and she landed at a shelter again tomorrow, I can’t be sure anybody would have the joy and privilege of taking her home. OFSDS provides a home for all the fantastic dogs who might not find their forever family, but deserve a full and happy life just the same.

There are a few tenets I think we can agree on: Dogs are good. Old dogs are very, very good. And people who take care of old dogs without a home are extraordinarily good. That’s why, if you ever find yourself doubting the presence of good in the world, I suggest you take a peek at the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary Facebook page.

I know, I know. If you aren’t already familiar with OFSDS, you might think it’s an online version of the part of the movie where the beloved dog starts to get sick and you have to turn off your TV (ahem, Marley and Me. And every other dog movie. You know what you did.). But it’s not! These dogs may be senior, but the page is full of these sweet doggos playing, getting into mischief, being doofy, and sneaking some cuddles. It’s about as life-affirming as it gets. Watching these canine senior citizens play is just as cute, if not cuter, than puppy videos – these are pups who have had YEARS of experience of being Very Good Boys and Girls!

Just look at some of the sweetness these cuties get up to:

Though not as renowned for this skill as cats, many dogs choose to fit into places that are too small for them then stand there looking derpy:

Napping dogs: cute. Two napping dogs: ARE YOU KIDDING ME, STOP IT.

I love the dog leading the charge as much as I love the one taking a snooze break right in the middle of everything:

The only sad thing about Mack’s blindness is sometimes I wonder if he has any idea how cute he is?

I want to be in this hallway of dogs. Dogway? Anyway.

First thing you see when you walk into heaven:

Good news! If you love Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary as much as I do, you can send them a donation on Facebook to thank them for all the soothing, cheerful dog pictures that we’re definitely not looking at during work hours. And if you live near Mt. Juliet, TN, you can even foster one of their darling doggos! If not, maybe someday you’ll be in the position to adopt an older pup of your own. I can promise you, owning an older dog is a brief joy – like a sunset or an ice cream cone- but the very purest in heart.


First House Diaries #1: Sometimes There Will Be Dead Bodies

So I am not great with dead bodies. They say you will learn a lot when you buy your first house, and I think they mean stuff like “you need to have a backup budget for repairs” or “you’re capable of more than you think!” But I bought my first house in April, and the only real surprise is how not great I am with dead bodies. Except, guys: who IS great with dead bodies? I don’t want to be that person. Or meet that person, to be quite honest.

The only reason this is a surprise is that my recurring dream – other than the one where my teeth and hair fall out, or where suddenly realize I’m like 8 months pregnant – involves dealing with a dead body. Before the dream starts, I have somehow run across a dead person. It’s never quite clear what went down, but whatever the circumstances are, it’s going to look like I’m responsible even though I’m not. So I somehow have to deal with it. And you know what? In the dream, I’m surprisingly chill about this whole turn of events! So in real life, I thought maybe I could deal with a dead bird or two.

What we’re really looking at is sort of a plague of dead birds. Like a Bible/Shakespeare kind of “pox on my house” scenario. Let’s go back. When I first moved in, I noticed that these ugly, terrible birds were starting to roost near the eaves by my bedroom. They’d squawk in the morning, every morning, and fly around like aimless assholes as dusk fell. I probably should have dealt with them right away, but my house has two stories and a full-sized attic. They were high up. And I don’t like to interact with animals from outside. Like, a stray cat, or a baby field mouse? That is not cute. That is a wild animal, and I am not here to make friends with it.


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Scene Of The Crime.


So, imagine my disgust that those birds were up there reproducing. Spawning. Gross. I never really thought about it until one day when I was out gardening. I looked to my immediate left, and there was the worst creature that had ever lived. It was dead.  It’s almost like it was so hideous that it lost the will to exist. I guess it was supposed to be a bird. Except it was completely bald, translucent, veiny, and bloated. And somehow, surprisingly large. If you visualize what a baby bird would look like, this was not that. It was like if you made a dead bird version of one of those hairless cats. I hated it both for existing, and for dying – and especially for dying in my yard. It was like… you know how in movies aliens are those putty-colored bald boney men? Okay, imagine that. Then imagine the fetal version of one of those. Then imagine that off the fetus’s shoulder, it has one of those half-formed parasitic twins. It was like that.


Anyway, I did what any responsible home-owning adult would do. I ran inside and paced for like a half hour. I collected a few bags to dispose of it in, went outside, then did an about-face back into my house.


I repeated that three more times.


I called my city’s animal control line, hoping that there was a person who was so good at dealing with dead bodies that they were paid for it. No luck: they do not deal with animals on your property although the helpful phone representative told me that I could bag it and place it at the curb for removal. People like me are the reason taxes are so high, because I think my municipality should absolutely deal with dead bodies for me. Unless I ever run for office, in which case, people like me are the reason taxes are reasonably proportionate to income and property ownership.


At some point, I became so disgusted that I began to cry. Or weep, maybe. Now is a good time to mention that I am an Ugly Cryer.



Eventually, I disposed of it using a pair of rubber gloves and four plastic bags.


On further reflection, I remember finding a dead baby bird as a child – although I’m fairly certain that it had feathers and was of the appropriate size. My brother and I placed it in a shoebox and lovingly buried it. The next morning at church, the congregation sang Morning Has Broken, and my heart broke for that poor little creature who barely got a chance at life.




The day after the winged hairless cat alien parasite disposal, there was another dead hairless gummy bony bird in almost the same spot. I should probably mention that my yard is surrounded by a six-foot fence, and my cat doesn’t go outside, and the area wasn’t near a tree. I have no idea how this keeps happening, other than some kind of a curse or plague. My mother suggested that sometimes bird families will off baby birds who don’t turn out right. Were they so mutated that even their own kind couldn’t bear to let them live? From the looks of them, probably. An elderly neighbor mentioned that usually baby birds are well on their way to adulthood by this time of year.

Anyway, there seems to be some sort of a problem. I don’t know why these things keep showing up at my house. I’ve just learned that sometimes in life, there will be dead bodies. And I hate them. I hate birds, and I hate nature. I  hate the circle of life. I have a dog and cat, but I am now going to go off the assumption that they will live forever. Because I cannot deal with their dead bodies, ever.


I have a feeling there will be more to say about this house business – but no more bodies, I hope – so check back for other reports from the First House Diaries, when I hopefully am able to write about something less disgusting.


Celebs Who Are About To Get Killed By Their Exotic Pets

One of the earliest lessons of childhood is that certain animals don’t belong in your house. This message was reinforced everywhere. In the American Girl books, Kirsten’s house got destroyed because she brought a baby raccoon inside and he went HAM and burned their house down using his tail as a tiny torch of destruction. Children’s books teach lessons, and I guess the American Girl company thought that “don’t bring weird-ass animals into your house” was still a relevant one in the early 90s. In that one Full House episode, Danny’s heretofore-unheard of sister showed up with her monkey and it got lost. There are even real-life community standards against owning odd-as-shit animals:  the family on my street with the ferrets were treated to open scorn, because ferrets were illegal in our parts. Besides, those animals were little weaselly assholes.

Despite these lessons, some people just don’t get it. Remember a few years ago when that guy owned a menagerie and he set them free and they all got shot? Or that woman whose face got mauled off by her friend’s chimp? Sure, she got a face transplant, and I’d say all’s well that ends well, but there’s somebody else’s FACE on her FACE now and I’m not ready to act like that’s okay.

Here are some famous pet owners who should know better. But since they don’t, I’m here to tell them: you’re bouts to get killed by your exotic pet.

Mike Tyson: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Tiger

Recently Mike Tyson got head butted by his pet tiger. The cork at the top of this champagne problem? It knocked the gold teeth right out of Tyson’s mouth. Still, the fighter has reported that he sleeps with his tiger, answering the question posed by the 90s tv movie “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?” with a resounding YES.

Kristen Stewart: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Half Dog/ Half Wolf

The only surprising thing about Kristen Stewart owning a dog/wolf hybrid is that I can’t imagine Kristen Stewart caring enough to go out and buy a dog/wolf hybrid. I sort of picture her out on her porch smoking weed with a dog/wolf watching her longingly from the side of her yard. She turns to go in and the dog/wolf is at her heels. Stewart looks at the dog/wolf, shrugs, and lets him in behind her. They live apathetically ever after. Until he freaking KILLS her because that is a WOLF Kristen. It’s a wolf. And in real life, wolves don’t turn into handsome muscular teenage boys. They turn into a thing that is eating your still-living flesh.

Justin Bieber: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Capuchin Monkey

Justin Bieber bought a Capuchin monkey, abandoned it in Germany, then was ordered by the nation of Germany to pay monkey support. If there’s one country that I would NOT want to get into a child support relationship with, it’s Germany. They’re stern. That, or one of those countries that people always parental-kidnap their children to. Now Bieber’s monkey is a stern German, too. Plus monkeys are crazy. Watch your back in Berlin, Biebs. That Capuchin monkey is going to revenge kill you.

Nicolas Cage: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Octopus

Octopuses are kind of cute. Until they squirt ink in your eye and strangle you with their tentacles. Before you know it, the last thing you see before you die is the undercarriage of an octopus. And the only time that should be the last thing you see is if you’re an old, married octopus having an affair with a young female octopus and you have a heart attack during octopus sex and that’s how you die.

Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Lion

In the Wizard of Oz, there’s a good reason that the song didn’t go “Lions and Tigers and Bears, You Know, Those Would Be Fun To Have Live In My House With Me.” The Griffith-Hedren clan loved a good lion photo op. Lions in bed with the child! Lions roaring at us in the pool! Lions taking up too much space on the kitchen floor as the maid gets juice from the fridge! Only by the grace of God was the final photo op not “Lions Eating All Of Us With Their Enormous Bone-Crushing Jaws.”

Tracy Morgan: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By Those Sharks

I saw that movie Soul Surfer. It made getting your limb torn off by a shark seem normal, inspirational even. But I ALSO saw that movie Sharknado, so I know that Sharks could kill you – and the fact that sharks live in water, and you’re on land, doesn’t help you. Some day, that tank is going to break and then Tracy Morgan is bouts to get killed by that shark.

Michael Jackson From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Chimpanzee

It’s all fun and games until a chimp eats your face and you have to raze all of your original facial features and rebuild them and regrow your skin in goodness knows what color. Actually, you know what? Never mind. As you were, Mr. Jackson.

Vanilla Ice: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Wallaroo

A wallaby/kangaroo hybrid sounds like a really cute pet, right? Especially when you name him Bucky Buckaroo, like Vanilla Ice did. But you know how you get a little nervous when a large, friendly dog jumps up on a tiny person because it could knock them over? Imagine if instead of a large, friendly dog the jumping animal was a mutant kangaroo. Vanilla Ice, you’re bouts to suffer extensive head trauma when that wallaroo knocks you over.

Audrey Hepburn From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Baby Deer

Whenever I find myself looking a little TOO Etsy-and-twee, I think to myself “girl, you look like you would have a pet baby deer that you feed out of a mason jar. And that baby deer only listens to vinyl. Shit. That baby deer wears a loooot of ModCloth.” Sure, a tiny fawn seems like the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Pet. However, those of us who live in deer country know how un-cute it is to get a deer-sized dent pounded out of your car. Audrey Hepburn from the past is bouts to get into a driveway crash because of that fawn.

Steven Tyler: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Raccoon

Well. SOMEONE didn’t read Changes For Kirsten. Hide your oil lamps, Aerosmith.